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Nebraska Indicator: Slow Economic Growth at the End of 2018

Economic growth will slow significantly in Nebraska during the 4th quarter of 2018, according to the most recent leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 
The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, fell by 0.40 percent during June of 2018. 
July 2018 Leading Economic Indicator Nebraska
July 2018 Leading Economic Indicator Nebraska
“The leading indicator fell during June for the first time during 2018,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university. “The decline suggests that the pace of economic growth will slow significantly at the end of 2018.”
A sharp increase in the U.S. dollar was a primary reason for the decline in the leading indicator. “A rising dollar increases competitive pressure on agriculture, manufacturing and other businesses which export,” according to Thompson. A decline in manufacturing hours and an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance also contributed to the June drop in the leading indicator.
Business confidence was one positive component. Respondents to the June Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase both sales and employment at their businesses over the next six months. There also was an increase in building permits for single-family homes.  
Published: July 25, 2018